Safe transfer of patients with brain injury | Association of Anaesthetists
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Safe transfer of patients with brain injury


Patients with neurotrauma or other acute brain injury often receive initial treatment at a hospital which may not have a neurosciences unit. As a result, many patients with serious brain injuries have to be transferred urgently between hospitals by ambulance or air. Transfer of patients with brain injury is potentially hazardous if poorly executed. Patients can come to harm as a result and ultimate neurological outcome may be adversely affected. 

These guidelines recommend principles of safe transfer that apply in particular to those with acute brain injury. They are provided for those responsible for planning, managing and undertaking transfer of brain injured patients. They include information on:

  • Organising and communicating transfers
  • Staffing requirements and standards
  • Preparing for a transfer
  • Equipment and drugs
  • Training
  • Resourcing issues